About 11 years has passed since the T6 platform came into play in 2011 and now finally after so many updates and special editions, we have a new Ranger. This new look is influenced by its American cousins which is in fact the ideal solution to introduce a new and different design language that will certainly stand out, especially on South African roads when it sits side by side with the likes of the Toyota Hilux and Isuzu D-Max.
Depending on the trim level, the aesthetic looks will change more especially on the newly designed radiator grille carrying on its centre area, a proud Ford blue oval logo. The new frontal fascia is inspired by a blend of the Maverick and F-150, which would make sense since the Ranger sits between the two in the model line-up. The C-shaped headlights house either incandescent bulbs on lower spec models or full Matrix LEDs with LED daytime running lights on higher spec models.
And speaking of trim models, three have debuted and the first in line is the XL model carrying 16-inch alloy wheels, black grille and a 10-inch infotainment screen. Next up is the XLT which increases the wheel size to 17 inches, gets a black grille with the upper part having a central chrome bar and C-clamped LED headlights. The top of the range Wildtrak model boasts a more premium, unique front end; larger 18-inch alloys and a 12-inch touchscreen plus an 8-inch digital instrument cluster.
The wheelbase has been extended by 50 millimetres and it contributes to a better approach angle, better passenger legroom, a longer side profile which sports the traditional air vent on the front fender and body creases on the lower part of the doors. The rear track has increased by 50 millimetres creating a more spacious load area that even accommodates a sheet of building plywood or a full-size pallet. There is a dedicated side step to climb into the load bed and on the surface is a plastic-moulded bedliner and tie-down points to secure cargo items.
The official towing capacity and payload figures have not been revealed yet but Ford says they are way higher than the previous generation. At night, the bakkie can illuminate a 360-degree lighting with light sources coming from the headlights, side mirrors and door handles.
Premiering for the first time in the Ranger is Ford’s portrait-style infotainment display with SYNC4 system and the screen sizes vary from 10.1-inch to 12-inch and alongside this new setup it boasts a digital instrument cluster. The gear selector looks premium, the handbrake has been switched for an electric one plus the interior is said to feel upmarket with all the soft-touch material. Tech features include a 360-degree camera and trailer assist. There is a choice of two four-wheel-drive setups, either an electronic shift-on-the-fly system or a full-time 4×4 system.
Variations of engines announced do not have the official power figures but the good news is there is a new 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel engine for the higher spec model and that is courtesy of Volkswagen. The partnership between the Germans and the Americans sees a possible 200 kW V6 engine introduced alongside two 4-cylinder petrol engines, two 2.0-litre diesels with one being single-turbocharged and the latter twin-turbocharged. These engines will be mounted to either a six-speed manual gearbox or the updated and better calibrated 10-speed automatic transmission.
More information will be revealed next year towards the official launch.
Source: 2022 Ford Ranger Press Release